The weather didn’t cooperate when Fayetteville, Arkansas celebrated their recent certification as the first National Wildlife Federation Certified Community Wildlife Habitatin the state of Arkansas, but area residents were unfazed. They said that the rain was badly needed and celebrants gathered closely in the Gully Park pavilion after the skies opened up.
Fayetteville has made it a priority to provide habitat for wildlife across the city—in backyards, parks, schoolyards, businesses, the city’s wastewater treatment plants and even a local cemetery. Nearly 250 different locations across the city became NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat sites by providing food, water, cover and places to raise young for wildlife.
Volunteer team leader Terri Lane, a member of Fayetteville’s Environmental Action Committee, said the certification was very much a cooperative project between the volunteers, the city and the project’s many partners. The city gave their support from the very beginning and arranged the certification of 26 city parks. Mayor Lioneld Jordan has attended the dedication ceremony of every Schoolyard Habitat garden in Fayetteville and spoke to the children about the importance of helping local wildlife.